So much food, so little time.

May 17, 2011 § 8 Comments

Buon giorno, my American friends! I apologize for the lack of postings lately, but there has been much less free time here in Cortona than I had been expecting. My first few days in Cortona were an absolute whirlwind, trying to absorb as much of this beautiful city as possible in the first 48 hours.

We were lucky to be blessed with absolutely beautiful weather on our first full day in Cortona, and lucky for me, that was market day! Of all of the fresh produce stands I have seen, this one beats them by a long shot. Every single fruit and vegetable here is just hitting its peak season, and I probably spent more money buying fruit and vegetables that day than I have yet anywhere else in Cortona.

But before I could go to the market, I had to start my day with this:

My first real Italian cappucino.

Then it was on to the market.

Literally every fruit and vegetable you could imagine.

Blood oranges! So rare at home.

Beautiful heirloom tomatoes.

Fresh herbs, and the market vendor who wanted to be in the picture with them.

I ended up buying strawberries, a few bunches of sweet cherry tomatoes, several blood oranges and a bag of cherries. Over the next few days, I was always very glad to have fresh fruit with me for an afternoon snack.

We moved on from the produce section of the market over to where the real action was going on: the seafood, meat and cheese stands. There were cases full of fresh seafood, from little clams to huge lobsters and fresh squid. It easily topped any seafood market I’ve seen at home, but I’ve learned that is just the way of Italy: everything’s better here.

Squid, lobster, and a terrifying-looking fish.

Huge prawns...and do I spy an octopus in the background?

Some of the food in the market was stuff I had never seen before: huge tubs of salted fish, cheeses I had never heard of, and aged meats hanging from twine on the top of the stands. And then there was this:

Roasted whole pig. It's what's for dinner.

Yes, that is the head of a huge pig. Or perhaps a boar. I can’t really be sure, but what I do know is that this man was chopping meat off of the pig and laying it on toasted rolls and serving them for 3 euros. If I’m in Cortona next Saturday when the market is back in town, I will be getting one of those sandwiches. Just to say I did.

We left the market at lunch time and spent the rest of the day exploring Cortona, finding beautiful homes and narrow winding streets that led off to other piazzas, full of their own stores and restaurants. I can’t post all of the pictures on here, but here are a few of the beautiful places I found in Cortona that day.

Wouldn't mind coming home to this every day.

Windy, cobblestone streets leading to beautiful views.

I’ve also started my collection of door pictures, which was an idea I got from multiple people. Won’t be hard to make a college with all of the beautiful and unique doors I’ve seen here.

My day in town ended with a soccer game and dinner at Tonino’s. There has been so much going on the past few days that this is only a very brief, condensed chunk of my time here thus far. But I’ll do my best to find time to update this blog more often before I begin all of my trips to other cities around Cortona.

But for now, I will leave you with a picture of the view that I am lucky enough to see every day.

The Tuscan valley.


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